Facial features continue to develop during this week, with tiny pits forming where the ears will eventually be. Nostril openings begin to appear along with dark spots where your baby’s eyes will be.
Ultrasound image showing the embryo adjacent to the yolk sac all within the fluid (black area) of pregnancy sac.
Week 6 is when a lot of expectant mothers say they start to “feel” pregnant. This may be due to the body changes you could be experiencing. Week 6 also signifies that you are half way through the first trimester, and the risks are reducing every week.
During the 6th week of your pregnancy, the amniotic sac (the fluid filled sac that surrounds, cushions and protects the embryo) continues to develop along with the spinal cord, while a very early form of the central nervous system is evident. The blastocyst (embryo) now measures between 2.1mm and 4.2mm. The blood vessels that will later form the umbilical cord are continuing to form and develop during this week. The beginnings of the digestive system are also forming, with the first cells of the stomach and intestines developing.
Facial features continue to develop during this week, with tiny pits forming where the ears will eventually be. Nostril openings begin to appear along with dark spots where your baby’s eyes will be. The buds for the arms and legs that began to form in week 5 are still growing, while muscle and bone tissue are developing within them.
Your baby’s brain is developing at an extraordinary rate as the pituitary gland takes shape, the gland that is responsible for producing and controlling hormones. It is this gland that helps your breasts to prepare for breast feeding while supporting a whole host of other hormone related matters throughout pregnancy.
Your baby’s heart now has two ventricles and is beating twice as fast as yours.
You may, by week 6, be settling into the idea of pregnancy. It seems a long time from now until your due date. You may be feeling a little irritated or moody which is usually due to the many hormone fluctuations and changes that are taking place right now.
This may, unfortunately, be the week when you start to experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night. It doesn’t have to involve vomiting it can just be a constant feeling of nausea, which is bad enough!
There are many home remedies to help alleviate the symptoms, from ginger to bicarbonate of soda. The best way to reduce the effects is to eat little and often even if you don’t feel like it due to the nausea.
By now you may notice that your energy levels have dropped a little. This is because your body is putting a lot of energy into creating and sustaining the placenta. The changes in hormones can also contribute to the feelings of fatigue. It’s important to rest if you can.
You may notice the need to urinate more frequently, this is due not only to your increased HCG levels but also due to the extra pressure on your bladder as your womb begins to grow. It is important to stay hydrated and to not compensate for the extra bathroom trips by decreasing your water intake. The reduction of diuretics however, such as coffee and some herbal teas, may help with the frequency.
You may also begin to experience heartburn, indigestion, bloating or changes in your bowel movements and habits. This is a consequence of the muscle at the top of the stomach relaxing, allowing digestive juices to bubble back up the digestive tract. Eating slowly and frequently and avoiding constrictive clothing can help with this, but you should consult your Doctor or midwife if you are struggling to cope with indigestion. Eating plenty of fibre and drinking lots of water can help with both of these symptoms.
It’s important to stay up to date on foods that should be avoided during pregnancy as some may cause harm to you and your unborn baby. Currently medical professionals suggest you should avoid:
Your midwife or doctor will be able to provide you with an extensive list to remove any uncertainty over what you can and can’t eat.
You should also avoid cat litter, as there is a disease called Toxoplasmosis that you could catch that is extremely dangerous for your unborn child. If you live in the country you should also avoid sheep that are pregnant or lambing, as they secrete a hormone that can also be dangerous in the early stages of pregnancy.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Many women start to feel sharp pains in their lower tummy and pelvis. These are generally of no consequence and are said to be due to the stretching of the tissues.
Bright red vaginal bleeding is common but not normal at this time. This is most often due to a slight threatened miscarriage which will settle but it can also be due to an ectopic pregnancy which is altogether more serious. With an ectopic pregnancy there may be a sharper more severe pelvic pain which may cause nausea and vomiting. The lower tummy and pelvis may be very tender and painful. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy is low in women who have not had one before but much higher if they have had one before or if they have previously had pelvic infection. In these cases a medical assessment is imperative.
On the NHS you may be offered an ultrasound, through one of the various early pregnancy assessment units. This isn’t common practice though. The ultrasound at this stage would be performed through the vagina. If there is any suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy then a scan will be performed.
Private Care Available
A private clinic can offer an ultrasound and a blood test at this stage, although you may want to wait just one more week until the heartbeat can be easily picked up by the sonographer. If there is any suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy then a scan will be performed.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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